A person’s blood type is an important thing to note, especially in terms of medical care. There are eight different types that people can have, one of which is O positive blood. And there are actually a lot of interesting facts about this particular blood group, many of which we’ll be talking about today.

So let’s get started!

1. O Positive Is The Most Common Blood Type

One of the most commonly asked questions about the O positive blood type is… is O positive a rare blood type? And the answer to this question is no. In fact, it’s quite the opposite and O positive is actually the most common blood type there is. 

An estimated 38% of the population has O positive blood, and furthermore, it’s listed as the blood type with the most demand in medical settings. For those that are wondering though, AB-negative is the rarest type of blood.

2. O Positive Blood Is Given To Patients More Often Than Other Blood Types

As was just mentioned, O positive blood has the most medical demand of any blood type. And there are two main reasons why. One of which is obviously because it’s the most common one, but the other is a bit more complex…

You see, O positive blood is compatible with any red blood cell type that is also positive. This includes A+, B+, AB+, and of course, O+. All of these blood types combined, make up 80% of the world’s population. So that means 80% of the world can successfully take O positive blood.

And thankfully for that 80%, about one out of three blood donors is O positive. Although, as you’ll see later in this article, that sometimes still isn’t enough!

3. But People With O Positive Blood Can Only Receive Type O Blood

Despite being able to give their blood to most of the population though, those with O positive blood can only receive blood from less than half of it. Because people with O+ blood can only receive O+ or O-.

And as we know from the earlier facts, only about 38% of the population actually has O positive blood. An additional 7% of the population has O negative. So that combines to 45% of people who have Type O blood overall. Therefore, 45% of people who can give blood to those with O positive.

4. If A Patient’s Blood Type Isn’t Known, O Positive Is Used By Default

In emergency medical situations, such as when there’s a lot of blood loss, there isn’t usually enough time to figure out what type of blood someone has. And since O positive carries the least risk of a negative reaction and is more widely available, many hospitals will use it as the default for blood transfusions.

Plus, O positive is also the safest of all the blood types for immune-deficient babies who need transfusions, so donors who give this blood type are actually known by the Red Cross as Heroes for Babies.

5. Hospitals Usually Run Out Of O Positive Blood First

Although a large majority of the world’s blood donors are O positive, making it one of the most commonly donated types… O positive is usually the first type of blood that hospitals run out of when there’s a shortage going on. 

Both, because of how many people need it and because (as we just talked about) it’s the type that is used in situations where the patient’s blood type isn’t known.

This is why people are always looking for more O positive blood donors.

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Last Update: June 23, 2023